Parliament leads the way on first set of EU rules for Artificial Intelligence
On Tuesday, MEPs adopted proposals on how the EU can best regulate Artificial Intelligence (AI) in order to boost innovation, ethical standards and trust in technology.
- Finding balance between protecting citizens and fostering technological development
- A future-oriented civil liability system to protect private persons and businesses
- Effective intellectual property system and safeguards for developers
The European Parliament is among the first institutions to put forward recommendations on what AI rules should include with regards to ethics, liability and intellectual property rights. These recommendations will pave the way for the EU to become a global leader in the development of AI. The Commission legislative proposal is expected early next year.
Ethics framework for AI
The legislative initiative by Iban García del Blanco (S&D, ES) urges the EU Commission to present a new legal framework outlining the ethical principles and legal obligations to be followed when developing, deploying and using artificial intelligence, robotics and related technologies in the EU including software, algorithms and data.
It was adopted with 559 votes in favour, 44 against, and 88 abstentions.
Future laws should be made in accordance with several guiding principles, including: a human-centric and human-made AI; safety, transparency and accountability; safeguards against bias and discrimination; right to redress; social and environmental responsibility; and respect for privacy and data protection.
High-risk AI technologies, such as those with self-learning capacities, should be designed to allow for human oversight at any time. If a functionality is used that would result in a serious breach of ethical principles and could be dangerous, the self-learning capacities should be disabled and full human control should be restored.
Liability for AI causing damage
The legislative initiative by Axel Voss (EPP, DE) calls for a future-oriented civil liability framework, making those operating high-risk AI strictly liable for any resulting damage. A clear legal framework would stimulate innovation by providing businesses with legal certainty, whilst protecting citizens and promoting their trust in AI technologies by deterring activities that might be dangerous.
The rules should apply to physical or virtual AI activity that harms or damages life, health, physical integrity, property, or that causes significant immaterial harm if it results in “verifiable economic loss”. While high-risk AI technologies are still rare, MEPs believe that their operators should hold insurance similar to that used for motor vehicles.
The legislative initiative was adopted with 626 votes in favour, 25 against, and 40 abstentions.
Intellectual property rights
The report by Stéphane Séjourné (Renew Europe, FR) makes clear that EU global leadership in AI requires an effective intellectual property rights system (IPR) and safeguards for the EU’s patent system to protect innovative developers, while stressing that this should not come at the expense of human creators’ interests, nor the European Union’s ethical principles.
MEPs believe it is important to distinguish between AI-assisted human creations and AI-generated creations. They specify that AI should not have legal personality; thus, ownership of IPRs should only be granted to humans. The text looks further into copyright, data collection, trade secrets, the use of algorithms and deep fakes.
The report was adopted with 612 votes in favour, 66 against, and 12 abstentions.
Latest News from
Parliament wants to grant EU consumers a “right to repair”27/11/2020 10:38:00
Parliament wants to boost sustainability by promoting reuse and repairs and by tackling practices that shorten the lifespan of products.
Steps to improve EU democracy ahead of 2024 elections27/11/2020 09:25:00
Parliament aims to enhance democracy and enable full participation in the European political space, based on lessons from the 2019 European elections.
MEPs set out blueprint for a new Industrial strategy27/11/2020 08:20:00
Parliament advocates a shift in the EU’s approach to industrial policy, to help businesses cope with the crisis and face the digital and environmental twin transitions.
Streamlining public procurement within the EU for more efficient public spending26/11/2020 16:43:00
The Council yesterday adopted a set of conclusions centred on how efficient public procurement rules and practices, combined with increased public spending, can accelerate the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and lead to a sustainable and more resilient EU economy.
Orange the World: NO to violence against women26/11/2020 15:25:00
The European Parliament is again joining the UN's Orange the World campaign to combat violence against women.
MEPs call on EU leaders to end MFF deadlock without giving in on rule of law26/11/2020 14:33:00
EP group leaders and the Commission advise Hungary and Poland to take the EU to Court on rule of law, instead of penalising EU citizens by blocking the budget.
Affordable, accessible and safe medicines for all: the Commission presents a Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe26/11/2020 13:25:00
The Commission yesterday adopted a Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe to ensure patients have access to innovative and affordable medicines and to support the competitiveness, innovative capacity and sustainability of the EU's pharmaceutical industry.
Successful third issuance of EU SURE bonds by the European Commission26/11/2020 12:38:00
The European Commission has issued a €8.5 billion social bond under the EU SURE instrument to help protect jobs and keep people in work.
Coronavirus: Commission approves contract with Moderna to ensure access to a potential vaccine26/11/2020 11:33:00
The European Commission yesterday approved a sixth contract under the EU Vaccines Strategy, this time with the pharmaceutical company Moderna.